Texas FFA News  
 
     
 
Why I Teach Ag: Michelle Sammon    
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 | Author: Texas FFA News
 



What ag education classes do you teach?
I teach Principles of AFNR, Floral Design, Advanced Floral Design, Professional Communications, Landscape Design, Ag Business Management & Marketing and Food Science and Technology.
 
Why do you teach ag?
I teach ag because I have seen first-hand time and time again what difference ag teachers can make in students' lives. My Dad taught ag for 37 years, I have an older brother who is an ag teacher, and I was fortunate to have had a teaching partner who dedicated 48 years to this profession. Each of these individuals, and so many other men and women, in this career, have provided an amazing example for the type of teacher I continue to aspire to be. Like them, I want to give my students the tools they need to find success beyond high school regardless of what career path they take.


What is your favorite classroom memory as a teacher?
There have been countless “bloopers” and entertaining moments from classes over the years. But in all seriousness, one of my favorite memories comes from a very simple lesson I teach every year in my professional communications and ag business courses. In each of these classes, I do a careers unit in which we cover resumes, cover letters, job applications, etc. However, my favorite part is when I put them through a one-on-one job interview...they hate it. Most students get strangely nervous and awkward; some try to turn it into a joke, others get competitive. 
 
As simple and crazy as this may sound, it is the activity most former students thank me for. Some have even come back to me after high school to look over their resumes or help them fill out their first job applications. Regardless of how serious they take the activity, the value of the lesson always seems to sink in eventually.


What is your favorite FFA memory?
Two years ago, I got a strange text from a random number simply saying, “what’s up?” I completely ignored it for a couple of days, assuming it must have been a wrong number, but something told me I had to answer it. 
 
I responded, thinking I would have a little bit of fun with this total stranger. To my complete surprise, it was a former student who had been in my very first Principles of AFNR class as a teacher. As a freshman, he was so shy he would turn purple when asked to speak in front of others. But, by his senior year, he became one of those kids that seemed to be in the ag truck every time we left the parking lot. 
 
He was reaching out to me to tell me that he and his best friend, another former member who joined him on every one of those trips, had decided they would like to establish an annual scholarship, one in honor of my former teaching partner and myself. Both former students are incredibly successful in their respective careers and attribute much of their success to their time in the FFA. 
 
I have never been more humbled by a gesture and cannot think of a greater honor. It reminded me why we do what we do and how special it is when our students are willing to pay it forward. Though perhaps not an FFA event, this moment embodied everything this organization strives to instill in its members.


Why do you believe that ag education is so important?
Every day this career becomes more vital. Our students need the lessons we teach both in the classroom and through FFA activities. They need to become informed consumers and advocates for the future agriculture industry and be the leaders who will provide the change we desperately need in our society. For many of our students, we are the only connection they will have from the farmers who grow our food to the stores and restaurants who sell it, and we don’t have to look far to see examples of what happens when students grow into adulthood without this connection.

 
   
 
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